POSC 120, 263, and 265

Instructor: Al Montero
Political Science

Course Descriptions
POSC 120: Comparative Political Regimes
An introduction to the fundamentals of government and the variety of ways politics is practiced in different countries. Capitalist democracies, transitional states and developing nations are compared.

POSC 263: European Political Economy
An introduction to the politics of the European region during the post-World War II period. Students will examine the political conditions that gave impetus to the creation, maintenance, crisis, and decline of Keynesian economic policies, social welfare states, social democratic partisan alliances, and cooperative patterns of industrial relations. The course will examine the rise and reform of the project of European integration. The course will also address the particular problems faced by the East European countries as they attempt to make a transition from authoritarian, command economies to democratic, market-based economies.

POSC 265: Capitalist Crises, Power, and Policy
This course examines the interaction of national politics and international economic activity. Topics include the relationship between national and international finance, global competitiveness, and economic development. Case studies drawn from every continent.

Podcasts to Support Quantitative Reasoning Assignments


This project produced podcasts of 40-50 minutes duration that explain techniques used in quantitative and graphics assignments in POSC 120, 233, 263, and 265. These courses were redesigned with the support of the QuIRK Initiative. They contain individual and collaborative assignments that require the heavy use of Excel, SPSS, and Stata. The podcasts train students on the use of these programs. A sub-component of my project involves the training of students in graphic representations of their data analysis (e.g., how to design and discuss scatterplots, line graphs, bar charts, and more advanced illustrations of statistical analysis such as lowess regression, where the statistical results are interpreted only through a graph output.)

Learning Goals

What I propose is an instructional device, though the content has learning goals that pertain to visuality as well as quantitative reasoning. Specifically, I would like to instruct students in choosing the right graphic to illustrate the dynamics of their quantitative data (e.g., the strength of correlations, the distribution of data points, the identification of outliers, etc.).


Causal Analysis (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 94kB Jan5 13)
Four International Monetary Systems (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 2.4MB Jan5 13)
Social Origins of Democracy (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 9.2MB Jan5 13)